Holiday visitors file in during the first night of the 67th Annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. 

This list of things to do around Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley and Sahuarita includes events by local businesses and organizations including markets, music and more.

Things change quickly these days, so check for the latest information. Links are included with every activity listed.

A customer looks at turquoise ornaments during the 50th annual Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair on N. 4th Ave. on December 13th, 2019.

Wanderland at Tucson Botanical Gardens

Take a walk among thousands of luminarias and Korean lanterns at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, plus enjoy holiday music and a 10-foot-tall succulent tree.

When: Every Wednesday through Saturday until Jan. 2, 5:30-7 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m. Check the schedule here 

Where: Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way

Cost: $4-$15

Visit the website for more information. 

ZooLights 2021: Holiday Magic

Enjoy a night at the zoo with beautiful twinkle-light decorations and animal sculptures. Sip hot cocoa as you stroll through a lit wonderland filled with falling snow, visits with Santa, scheduled entertainment and sweet treats.

When: Now through Dec. 30, 6-8 p.m. 

Where: Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Ct.

Cost: $7-$11, members get $3 off admission.

Visit the Reid Park Zoo website for more information.


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Virtual Open Studio Tours

Open Studio Tours include self-guided showcases of artist studios and workspaces. You can interact with working artists, see where art is created and learn more about the artistic process.

When: Now through Dec. 12 

Where: Various locations

Cost: Free to attend

Hundreds of people showed up in early December at the Marana Civic Center to see its newly lighted Christmas tree during the Marana Holiday Festival.

Marana Christmas Tree Display

Visit a 25-foot Christmas tree musical light display this weekend. This Christmas tree has musical synchronized dancing lights and walkways you can experience with family and friends. Perfect for family photos and night entertainment. 

When: Daily through Dec. 31 every hour from 5-9 p.m. 

Where: Town of Marana, 11555 W. Civic Center Dr.

Cost: Free to attend, food available for purchase

Visit the event page for more information.

Photos with Santa at the Tucson Mall

Get your holiday shopping done and then take photos with Santa all in one spot at the Tucson Mall.

Themed days:

Visit with Santa: Daily, Now – Dec. 24

Pet Nights: Mondays, Now – Dec. 20

Sensory-friendly visit with Santa: Sunday, Dec. 12, 9:30–10:30 a.m.

Where: Tucson Mall, 4500 N. Oracle Road

Cost: Visiting Santa is free, but the price of photos varies.

Visit the website for more information. 

Themed Photo Nights with Santa at Park Place Mall

More Santa fun is happening at the Park Place Mall, now until Dec. 24. Beat the long lines and reserve a time to meet the big guy. You can also save some money if you buy your photos in advance.

Themed days:

Visit Santa: Now – Dec. 24

Pet Nights: Mondays, Now - Dec. 20

Sensory-friendly visit with Santa: Sunday, Dec. 12, 9:30–10:30 a.m.

Where: Park Place, 5870 E. Broadway

Cost: Visiting Santa is free, but the price of photos varies

Visit the event website for more information.

Ornaments were on display at an art booth during the 50th annual Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair. The event is bursting with great gift possibilities.

Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair

Visit Tucson's largest street fair with hundreds of vendors to shop from, plus live music and food. 

When: Friday-Sunday, Dec. 10-12, 10 a.m. to dusk

Where: Fourth Avenue, between Eighth Street and University Boulevard

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for food and shopping

Visit the event website for more information. 

Holiday Lights at Tohono Chul

Walk amid live music along paths lit with more than a million twinkling lights. Enjoy treats and a handful of vendors. Masks are required.

When: Fridays-Saturdays, Dec. 10-11 and 17-18, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Where: Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte

Cost: $6-$17; kids under 5 years old and under enter for free

Visit the event page for more information. 

Flashlight Night at International Wildlife Museum

Grab your flashlights and explore the museum in the dark. The museum will have Christmas lights hanging throughout the museum, plus a special Christmas scavenger hunt.

When: Friday, Dec. 10, 5-7:30 p.m.

Where: International Wildlife Museum, 4800 W. Gates Pass Road

Cost: $7-$10, $5 for ages 4-12. Kids ages 3 and under enter for free

Visit the event page for more information.

Marana Christmas Express 

Grab the kids and enjoy a train ride through Christmas light displays in Marana. Tickets are sold online only.

When: Dec. 10-12 and 17-23, 5-9 p.m.

Where: Marana Christmas Express, 14950 N. Trico Road

Cost: $15 per person online, ages 2 and under are free

Visit the event page for more information. 

Udall Parents Night Out

Drop the kids off for a fun time, while you get some shopping done. Attendees will get to watch Polar Express, make holiday crafts, play games and eat snacks. This event is for kids ages 5-11. Register at Udall Center. Spots are limited.

When: Friday, Dec. 10, 5-8 p.m.

Where: Morris K Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road

Cost: $5 (cash only), masks and waiver of liability are required

Visit the event page for more information.

Holiday wreath workshop

Create a holiday succulent wreath with Ponderosa Cactus, with a portion of ticket sales going to St. Jude Hospital. 

When: Friday, Dec. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Where: Ponderosa Cactus, 3751 E. Fort Lowell Road

Cost: $45

Visit the event page for more information.

SnO-V: An Oro Valley Holiday Event

Visit the inaugural SnO-V event at the Oro Valley Community and Recreation Center. This event will feature games, crafts, a photo booth, snow and a visit from Santa.

Due to limited parking at the community center, visitors are asked to park at the Oro Valley Town Hall parking lot at 11000 N. La Cañada Dr.

When: Friday, Dec. 10, 5-8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Visit the event page for more information.

Winter Waterland in Marana

This event is free to the public and will feature caroling and an outdoor viewing of “Jack Frost,” plus a holiday-themed water and light show on the splash pad at Crossroads at Silverbell District Park.

When: Friday, Dec. 10, 5:30-9 p.m.

Where: Crossroads at Silverbell District Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information. 

Miracle on Congress Street

Every weekend before Christmas, kids can visit with Santa and enjoy ice cream from Hub Ice Cream. Adults can purchase festive drinks from the bar.

When: Weekends through Sunday, Dec. 19. Friday-Saturday, 4:30-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.  

Where: Playground Bar & Lounge, 278 E. Congress St.

Cost: Everything is free except the cocktails. Donations for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona are encouraged

Visit the Facebook page for more information.

Emily Wolfgang, manager at Little Anthony's Diner, walks out of Little Anthony's Diner with an order on April 28, 2020.

Santa at Little Anthony's Diner

He's making a list and checking it twice at Little Anthony's Diner all month long. Get a free photo with Santa when you bring in a non-perishable food item to donate to the local food bank.

When: Friday-Sunday, through Dec. 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Where: Little Anthony's Diner, 7010 E. Broadway

Cost: Free

Visit the event page for more information. 

La Encantada's Enchanted Snowfall

Watch faux flurries fall in the open-air shopping center courtyard at La Encantada shopping mall. During these snow-filled weekends there will also be live music, hot chocolate provided by Blanco Tacos + Tequila and caroling. Bring the kids or make it a date night.

When: Fridays and Saturdays, now through Dec. 18, 6-6:15 p.m. and 6:45-7 p.m.

Where: The La Encantada courtyard, 2905 E. Skyline Drive

Cost: Free

Visit the website for more information.

Perched atop the shoulders of her dad Matt Griebel, three-year-old Grace Griebel basks in the fluttering snow scene at the corner of Kleindale Road and Forgeus Avenue during the first night of the 67th Annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. 

Winterhaven Festival of Lights

Celebrate the season by walking through the multiple streets of lights in the Winterhaven neighborhood. Bring a donation (canned food or cash) for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. 

When: Daily, Dec. 11-26, 6 p.m. Dec. 26 is the drive-thru night.

Cost: Free, wagon rides and food available for purchase

Visit the website for more information. 

Open Mic Night at Catalina Brewing Co.

Bring your instrument, guitars and your love for karaoke songs. It's the perfect atmosphere for beginner musicians. Plus, it's ladies night, with drink specials if you mention the Facebook ad.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 8-11 p.m. 

Where: Catalina Brewing Co., 6918 N. Camino Martin

Cost: Free to attend, brews available for purchase

Visit the event page for more information.

Astara's Fairy Lights at Valley of the Moon Tucson

Visit Queen Astara's Fairy Lights at Valley of the Moon with enchanting paths, decorations, lights and fairies this weekend. A limited number of people will be admitted every 20 minutes from 6-8 p.m.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Valley of the Moon Tucson, 2544 E. Allen Road

Cost: $5-$7, masks required

Visit the event page for more information.

Discuss Tucson's food future

University of Arizona students and a number of community partners are presenting a discussion about Tucson's food future.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students will be presenting their projects 10-11 a.m. and noon to 1 p.m.

Where: Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane

Cost: Free to attend. $5 suggested donation per person

Visit the event page for more information.

Winter Queer Bazaar

Visit an open air market featuring more than 30 LGBTQ+ artists and vendors. There will be food trucks and live shirt printing. A percentage of Tucson Hop Shop's sales will go to Southern Arizona Gender Alliance.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 5-9 p.m.

Where: Tucson Hop Shop, 3230 N. Dodge Blvd.

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for shopping, food and drinks

Visit the event page for more information.

Kids Create At Home with Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

Kids Create At Home is a twist on the museum's monthly art program for school-aged kids. Through the program, you get a supply kit of materials to complete an enchanted project with a live demonstration on Zoom.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 1-2 p.m. Pick up your supply kits in advance

Where: Pick up kits at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Dr.

Cost: $7 per kit, $5 for museum members

Visit the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures event page for more information.

Second Saturday at Steam Pump Ranch: Holiday Edition

This family-friendly market includes vendors selling handcrafted items, a farmers market, holiday crafting for kids in the garden, prehistoric demonstrations and holiday tours of the Pusch House.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Steam Pump Ranch, 10901 N. Oracle Road

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for shopping

Visit the event page for more information. 

Christmas Bar Crawl

Join a bar crawl benefiting Toys For Tots. The event includes Tucson stops Funky Monk, Cobra Arcade, Hi Fi, Highwire Lounge, Mr. Head's and O'Malley's.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 4 p.m. to midnight

Where: Funky Monk, 350 E. Congress St.

Cost: $15-$20, plus a $10 donation to Toys For Tots

Visit the event page for more information. 

Live music at FireTruck Brewing Company

Visit FireTruck Brewing Company for frosty brews and live music performed by Andrew Daniel Cates.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 6-9 p.m.

Where: FireTruck Brewing Company, 4746 E. Grant Road

Cost: Free to attend, drinks are available for purchase

Visit the event page for more information.

Bridgett Scofield, left, and Jenny Martin call Woolly Fern an “elevated shopping experience.”

Kreepmas at Woolly Fern Oddities

Visit Woolly Fern and shop around a creepy Christmas market full of odd-ball trinkets and handcrafted items.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 2-10 p.m.

Where: Woolly Fern, 4401 E. Speedway

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information. 

Santa at Harlow Gardens

Bring your kids, pets and camera to take a picture with Santa. Your children also get to make their own Christmas ornament to take home with them.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Harlow Gardens, 5620 E. Pima St.

Cost: Free, no registration required

Visit the event page for more information. 

Foothills Happy Hour Market

Visit this market at the Foothills Mall for trinkets, live music, market mocktails, baked goods and a variety of Tucson artists.

When: Saturdays, 3-7 p.m.

Where: Foothills Mall, 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd.

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for shopping

Visit the Foothills Happy Hour Market website for more information.

Mimosas, Music and Market 

Enjoy your shopping in the open, cool shade and surrounded by peaceful flowing fountains at St. Philip's Plaza. Shop for uniquely handmade, handcrafted, homegrown and home-baked products at St. Philip's Plaza.

When: Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 11-12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: St. Philip's Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for shopping

Visit the St. Philip's Plaza event page for more information.

Drive-in movie: The Polar Express

Hop in the car with the kids and pack a few blankets to watch a holiday classic at this drive-in event. 

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Quail Creek-Veterans Municipal Park, 1905 N. Old Nogales Hwy

Cost: Free to attend

Visit the event page for more information.

Merry Mariachi and Tamales

Celebrate the holiday season with a live performance from Mariachi Salvajes and pick up tamales from La Indita. Plus, kids can participate in a bilingual children’s hour.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: AZ Hops and Vines, 3450 AZ-82, Sonoita

Cost: Free to attend, drinks and food available for purchase

Visit the event page for more information. 

Yoga with kittens

Have a purr-fectly fun time at the studio with low-impact poses and stretching with cute little kittens from Southern Arizona Cat Rescue. If you need holiday gift ideas, the studio has tickets for future classes available for purchase.

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Where: Barefoot Studio, 7053 N. Oracle Road

Cost: $20

Visit the event page for more information.

Winter Market 2021

Join the Girl Scouts for some hot cocoa and shopping for crafts and winter gift items this holiday season. 

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 2-5 p.m.

Where: Angel Charity Place for Girls, 4330 E. Broadway

Cost: Free to attend, bring money for shopping

Visit the event page for more information.

Pop-up market at Crooked Tooth

Shop local creators, makers, artists, food trucks and grab cold brews at Crooked Tooth Brewing Co.

When: Sunday, Dec. 12, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Crooked Tooth Brewing Co., 228 E. Sixth St.

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for brews and shopping

Visit the Crooked Tooth Brewery event page for more information.

Free Pics with Santa in Main Gate Square

Join in the holiday fun and go caroling with family and friends to see Santa at Main Gate Square. The elves built Santa a protective snow globe for safe pictures. Social distancing and masks are recommended and the pictures with Santa are free. During this event you can also experience balloon creations from Santa's helpers and some snow flurries.

Parking is available in the Tyndall Garage. 

When: Sundays, Dec. 12-19, 1-4 p.m.

Where: Geronimo Plaza,  800 E. University Blvd.

Cost: Free

Visit the event page for more information.

Pints and Pups

Help give back to HOPE Animal Shelter at this event, where there will be a puppy Christmas sweater contest, pet photos with Santa and adoptable shelter pets. Donors will get $1 off all drinks. The organization accepts monetary donations, in addition to toys, treats, unopened pet food, bedding, newspaper, bowls, collars and blankets.

When: Sunday, Dec. 12, 11 a.m.

Where: MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento

Cost: Free to attend, but bring money for donating and drinks

Visit the event page for more information.


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